Balls!

 

This started as a little lark about a month ago.

Single Unit

The chainmaille form is called the Celtic Star.  Basically, it’s a short length of Celtic Visions (WHERE do we maillers come up with these weird names???) chain circled around to join with itself and all the outside frilly bits tied up nicely with additional rings.

Well, I attached a couple of these stars together.   And…meh.  Took that apart, and attached a different way.  That’s when the muse woke up.

Day 8

Why is there a voice in my head right at this very moment screaming “DUCK AND COVER!”?

See – the 4 flowery forms had attached in a configuration that was VERY familiar.

So I rather quickly built up 2 more stars, and put them in juuuuuust the right spots.

Half Ball

BINGO!

I had half a dodecahedron…my favorite little 12-sided Platonic Solid.

I liked this form so much, I immediately went out (well, in…as most of my jumpring suppliers are online) and got the right size rings in bright red and green.  I was making ornaments for the SQO’s family for Christmas.

Look pretty, no?

On Hook

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Yet another post about little metal rings in interesting configurations…

The pliers have been HOT, and the creation process boiling over in my head.  The muses must have gotten a hold of some serious caffeine pills.

Nothing stronger, thanks.  I don’t think I could handle THIS…

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Got the Mobyzan hearts all lined up on Etsy and ready to publish, both the tutorial and the finished forms…just waiting until November 1st to do so, so October isn’t so ‘listing heavy’ when it comes time to renew the things.

I also started playing with the weave used to make the dice again.  The first time I went ‘off the tutorial’ I created collars from a single strip of the weave.

These ones, in case you’ve forgotten…

Shippo Tsunagi Choker

And I have once again wandered afield with this weave to pair it with a different focal.

See – I wanted to see how Metal Designz does their kits.  If I was going to approach them on kitting out either the Dragon or the Mobyzan, I wanted to assure myself that what they were sending people was quality stuff.  So I bought a new tutorial I’d drooled over for a while called  Her Majesty’s quilt  and picked up a kit from Metal Designz.

All for research, donchaknow (at least, that’s how I justified the spending 😀 )

Nice kits, if I do say so – I’m happy they’re going to be putting together supplies for the Mobyzan.

The Her Majesty’s Quilt necklace, when constructed as written, however, needed a bit of a punch up, as I was slightly unimpressed at the length of chain winding around the form.

Enter the muses with the aforementioned caffeine pills…

Because the weave used in the collars and the capture of the crystal in HMQ are both square – I thought “Why not?” and mashed the two together.

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Can my muses cook, or what???

If any of you want to rip this beauty off my neck…it’s up on Etsy here.

Sheesh…am I writing about Chainmaille AGAIN?

I really can’t help it…I’ve had some interesting things come off the pliers lately, and I’m gonna share…

 

Chainmaille Dragon Final 2

When I completed the dragon tutorial, a couple of people in my chainiac group on the evil Book of Faces asked if there’d be a kit coming for this one.  A kit, for those not in the know, is when a jump-ring supplier offers a packet of rings in counts and sizes that were specifically put together for the tutorial at hand.

Sooooo – I reached out to a couple of suppliers I know offer kits for tutorials they don’t own.  Sadly, the answer was no.  The dragon is simply too complex a build, requiring 7 different ring sizes, as well as scales, beads, and wire.

 

Damn.  But the answer got my blood flowing for having a tutorial written that someone WOULD kit out.  It’s great for the chainmaille community as a whole, as it allows cross-support between the vendors and the designers, and gives new enthusiasts the chance to build some really cool things with rings they KNOW will work.

 

Pile o failHalf my design work ends up in the ‘well, THAT didn’t work’ bucket, awaiting deconstruction.  Or a new idea…

So I banged out a new pretty – simple (for me) design, and sat down to write out the how-to.

I’m calling this one the Mobyzan Heart, as it’s a mix of byzantine chain segments interrupted with mobius balls.  Cute, in’nt it?

Mobyzan cover 3

I have a favorable response this time – Metal Designz will be kitting out my work this time 😀

 

YEA, ME!

 

How to Chain Your Dragon

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I did it…I got the tutorial done for my dragon design.

YEA, ME!!!!

 

It was a monster of a project – almost as monstrous as all the design work that went into the form.  I lost sight of the actual photo count by the time I finished (added a few last minute shots, dropped a few others) but I had 251 pixs edited and lined up by the time I’d finished the photo work phase.

The final page count for the tutorial is 79 – but most of that space is taken up by the pictures.  It ended up a HUGE file in my hard drive.

Now, I’m no stranger to writing (duh!).  I’ve done ‘how to’s’ for employers in the past as they attempted to document JUST how a certain job is performed.  The writing of those little guides were usually dry, cold, impersonal and boring as hell, because there were higher-up’s involved who wouldn’t know a humorous phrase if it came up off the page and bit their noses off.

When I started the dragon tutorial, this was how the writing ‘clicked,’ because that’s my past experience with guides…a very ‘business impersonal’ style.

Took me a moment to realize what I was doing – and scrap the first draft.  I didn’t need to impersonalize this work, because there were no higher-ups between me and the publishing button.  The ONLY thing that would stop me from inserting my personality into this work was ME.

Can you see me cackling madly at my keyboard, yet?

If you want to make a dragon of your very own – here’s the listing:

How to Chain Your Dragon (a tutorial)

And if you want a dragon withOUT all the mucking about with pliers and little metal rings – I’ll make one for you:

My Pet Dragon

Chainmaille Dragon Face close in

 

 

Winter is Coming

bookset

Yup.  I done it.  I stole the title of this blog post straight out of G.O.T.

But it’s not about the ever popular Game of Thrones, although I did become enough of a fan this summer to put the published books on my Kindle.

Should be a couple months of reading, at least…

I can feel it coming.  Winter, that is…not dragons or the Night King…

Chainmaille Dragon upback side

 

Well…maybe dragons…I’m still writing out a tutorial for my fellow Chainmaille Addicts…

 

I feel it every year, with varying intensity.  As summer slips into Autumn, this seasonal change plays merry havoc with my sensibilities.

Every year.

I feel the shift from growth to winter prep.  The trees, the grass, the bushes … everything shifts its focus.

I feel the heaviness.  I need more sleep.  I get very introspective, and start digging along the dark paths in my head.

It’s going to be a long winter here in Wisconsin based on how early this Autumn shift hit me…and the leaves haven’t started changing yet.  I’ll try not to get too dark and introspective here on the T&T.

Tree old photo

 

Alphabet Soup

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Maybe I need to not watch V for Vendetta as my bedtime  “yea, I can totally sleep to this” film.  I had visions of Guy Fawkes masks dancing through my dreams last night.

Of course, the guy wearing the mask was also riding a chainmaille dragon – but dreams are supposed to be weird.  That’s part of their charm.  And it’s a no-brainer as to why a dragon made of tiny little rings would feature so heavily in my dreams last night – I’ve agreed to write out a tutorial as to exactly HOW I make such a sculpture, much to the delight of the other Chainiacs in my chainmaille group.

Chainmaille Dragon Face close in

My little guy’s going public 😀

Anyway – I did some digging on one of my favorite films, and came up with the type-up of his introductory speech to Evey.

Voilà!

In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.

*[carves V into wall] *

The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.

[giggles]

Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.

I love this little twiddle – simply because I’ve never experienced such an overabundance of words starting with the letter ‘V’ before.  The icing on the cake in this case is the performing actor.  Hugo Weaving has a very distinct and mesmerizing voice in this piece.

While I was searching for the write up, I realized I’m not the only one out there on the wider web kinda obsessed with this film…plenty of folks out there have taken this (and his other speeches in this film) quite seriously – breaking down the words to more fully explain the concepts behind them.  And – in the Reddit translation – they had a bit of fun – using other – more popular – letters of the alphabet to reconfigure his introductory soliloquy.  If you need a giggle today – go see what the fans have come up with 😀

Reddit V Translation

Quora Writer Examination

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Art Abandonment Project – 7th Drop

 

Art Abandonment logo

The weekend of August 12, the kids and I took a little trip half-way across the state to Madison…the justification being a new bra.

Once we tried on all kinds of over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders and selected the ones we wanted – it was time for fun.

Not that bra shopping in an upscale boutique-y place isn’t fun when you get to embarrass the hell out of the lady assisting with the sizing, selection and trying-on of the things…but I digress.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit ‘coarse’ when discussing boobage.  ESPECIALLY my own.

We ended up on State Street.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Wisconsin’s Capital city – state street is the connecting street to the actual capital building and UWM’s campus.  It’s filled to the brim with an eclectic offering of tiny mom&pop shops:  eateries, bars, glasswares, clothing, artistic gifts, metaphysical stuff…etc.

It’s also interspersed with an amazing number of very well thought out urban ‘chill’ spaces – fountains, greenery, water amusements, seating areas, and the like.

Because Madison has taken such care in creating an attractive space around the actual Government building(s), State street is a magnet for a very interesting class of people.

To put it bluntly – you get the hippies.

I don’t mean this in a negative way – I LOVE the hippy vibe – these are people who, in any day and age the tag has been affixed, go against the standardized social ‘grain’ of the time.  These are the thinkers, the dreamers, the rebels, and the artisans.

In short – my kind of people.

With such an eccentric gathering, how could I NOT bring along a few little artworks to abandon?

Grouping

I picked a total of 5 pieces for this little trip – an offering of some of my best…and some forms that hadn’t been chosen for abandonment before this.

We’ll start with this little teashop on State Street.  The kids wanted something kinda sweet to drink, and I badly needed a bathroom – Sencha Tea Bar served to fulfill both functions.  I laughed so hard at the signage in their restroom, I HAD to leave an offering…so the multi-colored fin whirly was perched on the sign.  Although my little twiddle isn’t as beautiful as Beyonce – I hope whoever found the piece treasures it as much as I loved making it.

We then wandered down State Street in the direction of the college quad.  One of my favorite things about State Street is the mix of old & new.  Here…some ancient storefront architecture bracketed with modern high-rises.  Perfect if you need some bohemian foodstuffs 😀

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Once we emerged into the quad – we found a gathering of flow artists…doing their thing to the beat of a small drum-circle.  I don’t know if you can really call 2 drummers a ‘circle’…but I was willing to just go with it.  Besides – the beats they performed were infectious – I couldn’t keep my feet still throughout the entire performance.

I managed to drop the dude and the inverted whirly in the quad – the dude ended up between the railings behind the drum circle, and the inverted whirly on one of the concrete seating areas surrounding the quad.

 

The kids spun things along with the group…after all, they’re flow artists and knew some of these people…and I wandered about the quad with my cell phone camera.

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Art comes in many forms – this storm grate isn’t your standard piece of cast iron.  This kind of detail is what makes the State Street area something special to visit.  And look…I took a selfie of my feet 😀

 

 

 

 

 

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You know I live in Wisconsin – we worship cows ALMOST as much as we worship beer.  I couldn’t help but snap up this little cutie.  She was quite intrigued by the flow artist spinning his hoop in the grass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I don’t need to go to Europe to see a castle…we have one of our very own!

 

 

 

 

 

The last piece to be abandoned in the quad was the full Persian keychain.  This wasn’t my standard abandonment, however.  One of the flow artists was having a birthday.  The group stopped in the middle of their performance, and offered impromptu birthday wishes and a pretty green present.

As green was her favorite color…the FP keychain was just the thing – it had green scales attached.  S duly presented my little twiddle to her…and she ran over to give me the biggest hug I’d had in quite some time.

FP Keychain

We had 1 more stop to make.  Mimosa Books & Gifts on State Street is a familiar haunt for the kids – they offer a lot of metaphysical stuff, some Eastern-themed tchotchkes, and tumbled, carved and shaped mineral stones.

Lots of those.

I slipped my final whirly on a corner of the counter when we were checking out.

We then grabbed a bite at the Which-Wich.  I tell ya – their lettuce-wich’s are HUGE – and very keto friendly.

We then made our way back to the old cheap-jeep.

But first…

When a building demands a good goosing – who are we to disappoint?

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And the last shot I’ve got from the Madison trip?  This little gem, spotted as we were getting into the car.

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If there were ever any doubts about how Wisconsinites feel about their beer, their football team, and their major religion – I believe this photo has erased all of that – the only thing missing from the signage was an advertisement for bratwurst.  We worship hops, the Packers, grilled brats, and Christianity in this state (well, the majority do…I’m the weird one!) and in that order.